Surfactant-enhanced alkaline flooding with weak alkalis
Creative Commons Attribution
Surfactant-enhanced alkaline flooding with weak alkalis The objective of Project BE4B in FY90 was to develop cost-effective and efficient chemical flooding formulations using surfactant-enhanced, lower pH (weak) alkaline chemical systems. Chemical systems were studied that mitigate the deleterious effects of divalent ions. The experiments were conducted with carbonate mixtures and carbonate/phosphate mixtures of pH 10.5, where most of the phosphate ions exist as the monohydrogen phosphate species. Orthophosphate did not further reduce the deleterious effect of divalent ions on interfacial tension behavior in carbonate solutions, where the deleterious effect of the divalent ions is already very low. When added to a carbonate mixture, orthophosphate did substantially reduce the adsorption of an atomic surfactant, which was an expected result; however, there was no correlation between the amount of reduction and the divalent ion levels. For acidic oils, a variety of surfactants are available commercially that have potential for use between pH 8.3 and pH 9.5. Several of these surfactants were tested with oil from Wilmington (CA) field and found to be suitable for use in that field. Two low-acid crude oils, with acid numbers of 0.01 and 0.27 mg KOH/g of oil, were studied. It was shown that surfactant-enhanced alkaline flooding does have merit for use with more »these low-acid crude oils. However, each low-acid oil tested was found to behave differently, and it was concluded that the applicability of the method must be experimentally determined for any given low-acid crude oil. 19 refs., 10 figs. 4 tabs.